Green Thumb: Gardening 101!


Gardening is my summer hobby. Thanks to my new puppy I get up pretty early these days and I enjoy watering my herbs, veggies and flowers while the sun comes up. It’s good to water in the morning so that the sun doesn’t burn the plants which can happen if you water in the afternoon. Gardening takes devotion and patience if you’re growing more than a pot of basil. But it’s a blast to see life growing and to eat something you grew on your own!

Above is my garden that I planted the week of May 18th. My parents helped me churn up the dirt in the raised beds, which were built by the previous owners of the house, as well as mix in a good compost and fresh soil. We put in some plant food and fertilizer to help encourage growth. All of my plants were transplants, rather than seeds. In just over a month, we’ve enjoyed: lots of basil, chives, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, oregano, and lemon thyme.

It’s overflowing!


We got to eat one squash before my entire squash plant ended up rotting. I was disappointed, but it’s all part of the learning process. Apparently this is a common problem. I did not know that mulching is very important for a squash plants as is pruning the large branches so they don’t crowd each other.
My arugula also did not survive due to an infestation of tiny white worms. Next time I’ll be more proactive about getting an organic pest killer, and I plan to attempt arugula again in the fall.


I picked my first jalapeño yesterday and quite a few tomatoes are almost ripe! My one bell pepper so far is huge but not yet red. We’ve had a ton of spinach, which grows rapidly. My eggplant, cantaloupe and cucumber plants all have flowers but no signs of fruit yet. Apparently cucumber takes a little longer to bare fruit even though it is rapidly overtaking everything else (it thrives in heat and humidity).









Pictured above: heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, jalapeño, bell pepper, cucumber, and cantaloupe!

I’ll post some garden fresh recipes soon! My favorites have been Minty Green Tea Limeade, basil pesto, and various salad dressings with lots of herbs.

Do you garden? What are you growing? Any tips?

5 Comments on “Green Thumb: Gardening 101!”

  1. Hey Jillian – I am as green with envy as the plants in your beautiful garden. You can’t get any fresher.

  2. Casey says:

    Your gardens are beautiful! I may take the time to do some raised beds next summer. For now, I have a half dozen herb pots. The leafy tops of any veggies would be great for my 5 bunnies, too. However, i was wondering what organic fertilizer you recommend. I don’t want to use chemicals on the food we will eat 🙂

    • Hi Casey, thank you so much! The tropical weather of Baton Rouge helps a ton. I used Miracle Gro Quick Start planting & transplant starting solution and I also used Osmocote Smart Release plant food. I don’t think either is organic, but my mom recommended both and she has been gardening for years!

  3. […] fall herb garden. I transferred most of my herbs from my larger garden into pots so that in the unlikely chance that it freezes this winter I can bring them inside. I […]

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